The Morning Briefing: British Steel complaints bite; Northern Provident Investments in


Good morning and welcome to your Morning Briefing for Tuesday 24 August, 2021. To get this in your inbox every morning click here.

British Steel complaints bite

Advice firm AW Dallas Financial Services has been forced to place itself in liquidation due to British Steel transfer advice.

Several of the complaints, which were made about advice given between August 2017 and February 2018, have resulted in referrals to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The total liability in respect of these complaints could exceed hundreds of thousands of pounds if upheld.

Fake news

There have been persistent warnings about how the internet has decreased trust within society.

Now research from Aviva shows 53% of internet users do not trust adverts on search engines.

Northern Provident Investments goes into liquidation

The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that Northern Provident Investments (NPI) entered creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 20 August 2021.

Jason Baker and Geoff Rowley of FRP Advisory Trading (FRP) have been appointed as joint liquidators.

NPI was authorised by the FCA and operated a debt-based crowdfunding platform where customers could buy illiquid debt securities and shares. NPI typically acted as an Isa manager for the investments on offer, many of which were minibonds.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme said it is aware certain investments have failed and that some customers paid money to NPI to invest on their behalf and that money has not yet been invested.

“FSCS is in the early stages of investigating whether there are any claims against NPI that meet the qualifying conditions for compensation,” it said.

Quote Of The Day

A wider adoption of modern technology across the pensions industry is needed if we are to tackle dwindling consumer confidence. Regular oversight over one’s pension not only aids in making informed financial decisions, but promotes a greater sense of ownership and engagement over their lifetime, which leads to better outcomes.

– PensionBee chief executive, Romi Savova on how to help savers better engage with their pensions

Stat Attack

Research from LV= shows how millions of people don’t understand their retirement options when they stop work.

10 million

Pension holders admit they know nothing about the product options at retirement and the pros and cons of each option

One in five

Of those planning to retire in the next five years knows nothing about the product options at retirement


Of pension holders know nothing about how stock market falls can affect retirement savings


Said they don’t know how to ensure they don’t run out of money in retirement


Of pension holders are planning on taking financial advice when they retire


Of UK adults think people should see a financial adviser when deciding how to access pensions at retirement

Source: LV=

In Other News

The UK’s first digital financial coaching app, Claro, launched this month to encourage everyone to make smarter financial decisions.

The app is free to download, and users can book a one-to-one call with a financial coach, create a financial plan, and choose saving and investing products suited to them.

It’s already in high demand, with more than 24,000 verified people signed up to its waiting list.

Unlike financial advice, which only 6% of Brits can afford, financial coaching is an affordable and effective alternative.

Inside the Claro app, users can view their spending across multiple accounts.

Claro also provides ESG data within the app, so users always have a choice of where they save and invest their money.

Just Mortgages is expanding in Wales with the appointment of two new area directors.

They will oversee an ambitious growth plan for the company, with an additional 30 brokers set to be recruited in Wales before the end of 2021.

The area directors are Barry Forrester, formerly of Embrace Financial Services and Countrywide Mortgage Services, and Peter Sadler, who joins fresh from running his own broker firm, having previously worked at Countrywide as well.

Responsibilities will be split geographically between the area directors, with Forrester set to oversee North Wales, and Sadler covering the south.

From Elsewhere

Social care charges: Disabled and vulnerable adults hit by steep rises (BBC News)

China’s crypto crackdown delivers windfall to global bitcoin ‘miners’ (Financial Times)

Financial planning service ‘by young people, for young people’ launched (Business Live)

Prudential won’t pay up on our paid-up policy (The Guardian)

Did You See?

What on earth is the govt thinking with the pension age hike, asks AJ Bell chief executive Andy Bell in his latest column for Money Marketing. 

With the minimum pension age set to rise to 57 in 2028, advisers face greater complexity preparing clients’ retirement plans, he suggests. 


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